(Bloomberg) -- North Korea said it had fired a “new type” of submarine-launched ballistic missile, in a test the country’s state media hailed as “pride and honor.”

The missile was launched Tuesday from a “8.24 Yongung” submarine -- from where North Korea’s first SLBM was launched five years ago to “demonstrate the military muscle of the DPRK,” the official Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday. The test, in waters off the nation’s east coast, showed the Academy of Defense Science’s “loyalty to the Party Central Committee with the pride and honor,” it added. 

The test included “advanced control guidance technologies,” the state media said, adding it included “flank mobility” and “gliding skip mobility” technologies. The new technologies would “greatly contribute” to the North Korean Navy’s underwater operational capability, it added. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not witness the launch, as the test was guided by Yu Jin, department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

The missile launched Tuesday flew about 590 kilometers (370 miles) and reached an altitude of about 60 kilometers, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing a person it didn’t identify. That would be consistent with a short-range ballistic missile, as the distance was not nearly as long as when North Korea last tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile in October 2019, firing a Pukguksong-3 from an underwater platform with an estimated range of at least 1,900 kilometers. 

Since then, North Korea has rolled out two new versions of the weapon -- the Pukguksong-4 and Pukguksong-5 -- in military parades. Last week at a defense expo in Pyongyang, it displayed what appeared to be a small, solid-propellant SLBM, weapons experts said.

The latest launch follows a series of tests in September of weapons designed to deliver nuclear warheads to South Korea and Japan -- two U.S. allies that host the bulk of American troops in the region.

The latest launch provides a reminder to President Joe Biden that Kim’s nuclear arsenal remains among the U.S.’s biggest foreign policy challenges despite former President Donald Trump’s having face-to-face summits with the North Korean leader. Although Kim made a vague commitment in 2018 to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” he has continued to advance his nuclear weapons program.

In January, Kim outlined broad plans to upgrade his nuclear arsenal to improve the capability to strike at the U.S., feeding speculation he would resume weapons tests. 

North Korea has one submarine capable of launching missiles and has been building a second one at Sinpo. While such a vessel would probably be noisy and unable to stray far from the coast without being tracked, even one submarine lurking off the Korean Peninsula would give U.S. military planners a dangerous new threat to consider in the event of any conflict. 

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